The toxic footprint of Syria’s War

The toxic footprint of Syria’s War

Pieter Both and Wim Zwijnenburg, from PAX, discuss the long term health and environmental impacts of Syria’s civil war. Syria’s ongoing civil war has already resulted in over hundred-and-fifty thousand casualties and has brought enormous destruction in cities and towns all over the country. Apart from the direct impact of the armed conflict on the lives and livelihoods of Syrian citizens, health and environmental impacts are emerging as problems that deserve immediate as well as long term attention. This war leaves behind a toxic footprint resulting both directly and indirectly […]

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Report: Pollution Politics – power, accountability and toxic remnants of war

Report: Pollution Politics – power, accountability and toxic remnants of war

In the first of two major reports, Aneaka Kellay examines how the weakness of current international humanitarian law allows the generation of conflict pollution that can impact both civilian health and the environment for long after the cessation of hostilities. The report argues that a new mechanism is needed to prevent and remedy environmental damage, to increase accountability and improve post-conflict response and assistance.  The executive summary and recommendations are presented below, and the full text can be downloaded from here. Executive summary and recommendations Introduction Humanity’s dependency on the […]

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Who pays for toxic remnants of war?

Who pays for toxic remnants of war?

The ongoing Syrian conflict and return to instability in Iraq this week are stark reminders of war’s devastating effects. While the immediate and shocking consequences of conflict, such as the killing of civilians and the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people from their homes, rightly gain widespread attention, the less visible legacy of conflict pollutants can also have long-lasting consequences for civilian health. What sort of environment will Syrian families be working, living, and playing in, in one, two or ten year’s time? Will the polluted post-conflict environment affect […]

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Holding private military contractors to account for toxic remnants of war

Holding private military contractors to account for toxic remnants of war

The rapid expansion of the role of the private military security industry during the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan poses fundamental questions for the regulation of future wars, and for efforts to strengthen the protection of the environment during and after conflict. While the context of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars differs from much contemporary warfare, the Private Military Security Company (PMSC) industry has grown to such an extent that it would be unwise to ignore its role in future conflicts. The 2003 Iraq War saw the most significant use […]

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TRW and reclaiming the protection of civilians under IHL

TRW and reclaiming the protection of civilians under IHL

Next week will see the conclusion of a series of high level workshops focused on reclaiming the protection of civilians under International Humanitarian Law (IHL). Since 2009, and at a series of regional workshops, states, international agencies and civil society have been discussing and identifying practical measures that may be taken by both military and civilian actors to ensure full compliance with existing IHL obligations. The final outcome document of the conference will be in the form of a list of recommendations. The TRW Project will be attending the conference […]

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